Singleton Bills To Help Disabled Students In Private Schools Clears Committee

Trenton – Two pieces of legislation sponsored by Senator Troy Singleton, which would help students with disabilities at private schools, cleared the Senate Education Committee today.

“It is incumbent upon all of us to ensure that all children in New Jersey – especially those with disabilities – have access to the educational resources they need to succeed in school, whether that school is public or private,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “Sometimes children with disabilities require a special school, an aide, or a personalized curriculum in order for them to succeed academically, and these bills help to address those needs.”

The first bill, S-3287, would permit an approved private school for students with disabilities to include a total maximum hourly rate for a licensed healthcare provider. The rate would not exceed the statewide average hourly rate paid to these individuals by county special services school districts and educational services commissions.The bill was released from committee by a vote of 6-0.

The second, bill S-3288, would direct the Department of Education to define expenses for behavior modification as an allowable instructional cost for approved private schools for students with disabilities.

Behavior modification is an evidenced-based instructional strategy and is a vital component to the individualized education program (IEP) for many students with disabilities, including those with autism and emotional disabilities. These can include small prizes, the ability to play games the student enjoys, or special food incentives. These items are included in the IEP which are developed by the school district’s child study teams. The bill was released from committee by a vote of 6-0.